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Sclerochiton harveyanus

Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Common names: Blue Lips (E); Mazabuka (Sw); umHlalani (X);

Native to: Southern Africa
Climber, Perennial, Shrub
A magnificent scrambling shrub with blue flowers.

Sclerochiton harveyanus

EVERGREEN

SEMI-SHADE

SHADE

FROST HARDY

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

FAST GROWER

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

3m x 3m
FLOWERING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Sclerochiton harveyanus

DESCRIPTION

A magnificent forest plant that usually forms a roundish shrub, that scrambles into surrounding vegetation.  It has glossy deep green foliage.  It bears masses of attractive blue-mauve to purple, 5-lipped flowers.

This shrub tolerates very shady conditions so will fill a space under trees where most other plants cannot survive.  It sends out runners that often root when they touch the ground, making it a useful plant to cover a large area.

NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
Forest margins and forest understorey.
WILDLIFE & ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS
Attracts insect pollinators which in turn attract insect-feeding birds.
WATER REQUIREMENTS
Water moderately.
MAINTENANCE
Low maintenance.
Prune lightly if necessary.
LANDSCAPING USES
A wonderful plant to add to a shady forest area of the garden.
Can be planted in large pot on a shady patio.
GARDEN THEMES
Forest, Woodland
FLOWERS
FOLIAGE
The foliage is glossy, dark green with a smooth margin.
FRUIT
The green club-shaped fruit ripens to brown and splits into two valves to explosively eject the seed.
PESTS & DISEASES
Seldom attacked by pests and disease.
CULTIVATION
Propagate from cuttings.

10 Responses

  1. Hi Richard

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    We’re not familiar with all the nurseries in your area, but perhaps try:
    – Garden Route Botanical Garden (George) or
    – Red Shed Nursery (Plettenberg Bay)
    – I’m sure of the name, but there’s also a nursery on the Robberg Road near the Plettenberg Bay Airport

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  2. I live in Knysna and am battling to find a Schlerochiton Harveyanus. Might you help here?

  3. Hi Mary

    Thanks for your observations.

    Gardening is definitely a constant learning process. Your perseverance has no doubt had an effect on the plants.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  4. I had two Sclerochiton harveyanus plants in fairly large pots, among clivias. They did not do well – always looked scrappy – though the plants around them flourished. Eventually I moved them out of the pots to and put them on the south side of a garden wall (i.e. mainly in shade) with deep mulch. They are now looking fantastic – vigorous and green and very pretty. So it’s well worth trying then a new place if they don’t do well at first.

  5. One of mine is flourishing outrageously in hours of summer morning sun till about lunchtime or just after, so it gets pretty hot, down here in Cape Town. it’s planted in between a Diospyros of some kind and a Trichocladus crinitus. I’ve got others elsewhere, doing well between other plants

  6. Hi Jeannie

    The Sclerochiton harveyanus prefers a position in semi-shade and, as far as I’m aware, it will not attract Sunbirds. Some of the common plants that grow in the sun and attract Sunbirds are:
    – Tecoma capensis (Cape Honeysucke)
    – Aloe species
    – Leonotis leonorus (Wild Dagga)
    – Kniphofia species (Red hot poker)
    – Cotyledon species (Pig’s Ears)

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  7. will this plant do well in a sunny location and will it attract hummingbirds? also can this plant be planted with different plants

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